Wednesday, March 25, 2020

UFT KNEW BUILDINGS WERE UNSAFE THE WEEK BEFORE THEY CLOSED

This is from Politico:

New York City's teachers union said Tuesday the city health department put educators and students at risk, prior to the city's system-wide shutdown, by not evenly applying a closure policy for individual schools when a staff member contracted the coronavirus.

The union issued the statement in response to the death of Dezann Romain, principal of Brooklyn Democracy Academy in Brownsville, who died this week from apparent complications stemming from the coronavirus. She was 36 years old. Another principal in the same building — Ronda Phillips, principal of Kappa V High School — has been hospitalized.

"Our heart goes out to the family, students and colleagues of Dezann Romain," the union said in a statement Tuesday night. "We will not comment on this particular tragedy at this time. However, in the week leading up to system-wide school closure, we had been given information that led us to believe that the New York City Department of Health was not following the school closing protocol issued by the state for COVID-19."

Further down:

Before Mayor Bill de Blasio closed schools, the state issued a directive to close any school where a staffer or student had tested positive for the virus for 24 hours, while the city conducted a deep clean and tracked anyone who may have come into contact with the infected person.

The union said it was told all final decisions for individual school closings — along with medical investigations and notification of affected members of the school community — rested with the city's Health Department. With its statement, the UFT suggested that did not happen with all schools in which someone had contracted the virus.

"For these reasons, the UFT was prepared to go to court to shut the schools, but stopped when city officials finally listened to reason and ordered the schools closed," the union said.

The Union knew buildings were unsafe but the best they could do was threaten a lawsuit. They told us to keep going into buildings where coronavirus was known to be present.

In fact, when members were calling out sick on Sunday, March 15 for Monday because they believed schools were unsafe, the UFT was discouraging them.

The Daily News published a message from UFT officials sent to District Representatives Saturday, March 14. This message was sent after the time the UFT now admits they knew buildings were unsafe. They sent it out because members said they were going to be absent en masse.

But UFT officials are privately warning members against that move, arguing it could be interpreted as a violation of state labor law, according to a message reviewed by the Daily News.

UFT officials told union representatives Saturday to "advise against" a planned call out on Monday.

“A coordinated sick-out will be interpreted by the DOE as an organized effort in violation of the Taylor Law and the Triborough Law,” union officials wrote its leaders.

“They will perceive it as a labor action and strike. Each participant is subject to a fine of two days’ pay for every missed day and arrest. However, even worse, the UFT will suffer greatly with fines and penalties. Please advise against.”

The UFT told the truth when they said that it was even worse that they would suffer greatly with fines and penalties. This blog noted that the Taylor Law prohibition against strikes was not going to be invoked in the middle of a pandemic.

The UFT declared that its dues are more important than member lives when they were willing to send dues-paying members into what literally were toxic buildings. Those buildings were just as unsafe last week when the Union didn't stop members from working in them on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

I won't forget, nor will my wife. Neither should you.

Please Mulgrew/Unity Caucus apologists, tell me how I am wrong. I would really like to be corrected.


62 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok, so now that this has happened, now what? What do we do? What kind of a letter should Mulgrew write us? How will that change what happened? Sorry to use this word, but how do we get "revenge" after this? We, by the thousands, can be deathly ill. Now what?

Anonymous said...

Do you think Mulgrew gives a shit that "You wont forget?"

Anonymous said...

What a disgrace. I thought somneone passing English with 9% attendance was bad. And our response is...? Keep paying dues? I understand, in the long term, it may hurt us, but something MUST be done.

Anonymous said...

See, it was about the money. It will always be about money. Wishing everyone well.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 2:09. Why do you think the governor of Florida allowed all those springbreakers down there? Spring break means big bucks for Florida. People are blaming the kids but the governor kept the beaches and bars open. The governor of Florida is to blame for the spread too.

Anonymous said...

The fucking smoking gun is sitting here in plain view. The union knew buildings weren't safe as guidelines weren't being followed and they told us to go in anyway. What more do you frightened wimps need to finally rebel? Start a new union. Now is the time to kill this one that was willing to let us get infected with Covid-19 us to save their goddamn dues.

Anonymous said...

If you recall, Cuomo agreed with Di Blassio. Why is nobody blaming him? He could have overrode him.

Anonymous said...

I've been one who opted out, haven't been paying dues since last summer. I've been called every name in the book. Now, at least, see my point of view.

Bronx ATR said...

Mulgrew has not even deigned to respond to this outrage. He assumes everyone will forget. Mulgrew should be removed from office. He does not represent the best interests of the rank and file. He has never done so, but his latest lack of leadership has endangered the lives and lives of teachers families. He helped close the schools for endangered students, but allowed teachers to be sent into them, after they were closed. Mulgrew should step down as UFT president or there should be a concerted effort to force him out. If he and his minions refuse, simply stop paying dues. That as a start will get their notice.

Anonymous said...

The UFT put in writing what who they are.

"However, even worse, the UFT will suffer greatly with fines and penalties. Please advise against.”

Not a penny more to this organization if the leadership does not resign. Please spread the word.

Anonymous said...

What's the point of asking Mulgrew to resign if Mayoral Control is not eliminated too?

The next UFT leadership will do the same thing and keep throwing us under the bus along with the mayor and DOE.

DEMAND both the elimination of mayoral control AND resignation of Mulgrew.

Anonymous said...

They have to break up the Unity Caucus too. It is a one-state disgusting monopoly that rigs elections with retirees in Florida voting.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew resign? Lol.

Anonymous said...

I ask again. Now what?

Anonymous said...

I blame its members. Why do they keep voting for Mulgrew?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the fact that we are getting paid. This is unacceptable. I opted out this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew is too corrupt to fo that.

Anonymous said...

I'D SAY
Step 1 Mulgrew and his crew need to go NOW.
Step 2 Let the new crew start right away to fight to get controls of the schools away from the mayor.

I think leaving the union isn't the answer. We are stronger together. The problem is that the current union does not protect it's members and clearly after this we need change and new leadership. Mulgrew and his crew screwed up big time. This isn't their failure to protect ATR's or individual members or even schools. This was a failure to protect EVERY UFT MEMBER THAT WORKS IN A SCHOOL BUILDING. Mulgrew gets paid a large salary to LEAD AND OFFER GUIDANCE TO THE RANK AND FILE. He DID NOT do this effectively. Now members are getting sick. Mulgrew should resign and acknowledge his failure to lead and keep his members safe.

We need strong leadership that will make the tough decisions to PROTECT it's members. We need change. If this doesn't serve as a wake up call to the rank and file nothing will.

waitingforsupport said...

Tell all of the newspapers. Tell them that there is no confidence in the union leaders and/or
Start a Change petition for all rank and file to sign. Present it to the newspapers and Mulgrew.
Idk...my 1 cent.

Anonymous said...

Step 1- Mulgrew isnt leaving. Step 2-if you continue to pay, you are a sucker. I'm proven right over and over. How many ways can I prove it? Do as you wish as unity laughs in your face.

Anonymous said...

Just how do we know the next ones to replace Mulgrew, Carranza and Di Blassio won't be just as corrupt? Remember Mulgrew replaced Weingarten, Carranza replaced Farina and Di Blassio replaced Bloomberg. Were any of their predecessors any better?

Anonymous said...

As long as you keep paying dues, nothing will change.

James Eterno said...

You think it can get worse than someone knowingly sending you into unsafe buildings?

Anonymous said...

And here is the comic part — in a darkly bizarre sense of the word: The Post’s Susan Edelman reported Sunday that the chancellor earlier this month had ordered school officials not to report evidence of coronavirus contamination. “There is no reason for any school to call [the Department of Health] to report potential or confirmed cases,” he wrote in an e-mail to subordinates.

No reason to report? Who thinks like that? Someone lacking seriousness of purpose, an awareness of public anxiety regarding coronavirus and the skills necessary to navigate this potentially lethal crisis.

James Eterno said...

Chancellor is your employer. UFT is supposed to protect you. This post is about UFT knowing buildings could be infected and allowing members to go in and work in them. Once UFT knew Carranza was covering up cases, union had a responsibility to get us out of those buildings, the kids too. They did nothing because of fear of the Taylor law. I cannot tell you how awful that is. I am still waiting for an explanation.

waitingforsupport said...

Isn't the explanation clear?
They (UFT) are stone-cold gamblers. They have always been gamblers. However, they don't use their own money (life) They gamble with the students' future. The parents' hopes and now educators lives. There's no acceptable explanation to be given when you know death is lurking around the corner but you send your "friend" around that corner to get something for you. Where i come from,that's called a set up. Cruel. I don't get it. Yeah, a change petition should garner thousands of signatures.

Anonymous said...

Keep waiting...

James Eterno said...

People asking what they can do can spread this to everyone they know. Simple as that. People must know what happened. We could use a wider reach now. Come on readers.

Anonymous said...

James, I've been saying it couldn't get worse for years and you kept saying we have good salaries and we dont pay for medical coverage. I gave a long list of why it was so bad. I got called a scab. You said bad is better than nothing.

James Eterno said...

I never imagined in my darkest nightmares that the UFT would knowingly allow members to enter into buildings that they were aware could be unsafe. They admitted that their dues come before our safety. This is worse than settling for a subpar contract by far. Bad is better than nothing but this is beyond bad. There is some downright evil in what happened here.

Anonymous said...

I blame you James,
You keep preaching not to leave the union, look what it got us, death. I blame you just as much as I do Mulgrew. I always tell fellow teachers not to listen to you because you mostly post rumors, fake news, or personal vendettas you or your friends have against some admin.

Your union rhetoric is tiresome and misleading. You need to create your own blog about your self titled, UFT retiree from Hell"

James Eterno said...

Blame me all you want. As soon as I found out what was went on, I exposed it. In addition, I pleaded with people not to go in last week. This goes way beyond some lousy administrators. Did you see how last week I praised administrators who told their staffs not to come in and to work from home?

I only wish I had the reach that Mulgrew had and was not just a little blogger. If 20,000 left the union, how would any of this been prevented? An even weaker union may not have been able to get schools closed when they finally did.

Anonymous said...

All very true, James, but Mulgrew closed the schools for students - not teachers. Mulgrew betrayed all of us for money.

James Eterno said...

de Blasio had to be moved against his will to close schools. Mulgrew helped move this for sure. However, you are right 8:18. We have the proof that the UFT knew it was unsafe in buildings and let UFT members go in. That is before and after schools were closed for kids.

Mike said...

I really do not understand the way some posters are treating James.

I have been an ATR for a while and I can honestly say that the information I read on the blogs of James and Chaz are more valuable and credible than what I hear in school or read in the Uft newspaper or from any chapter leaders. That is just the truth.

James is right about unions. By dropping out of the Uft, you have zero leverage. Look at charter school teachers.

Our union is bad. Scratch that. Mulgrew’s leadership is awful. He is in the back pocket of the mayor. It should be the other way around.

Mulgrew took his lead from de blasio. Too little too late in my mind. Mulgrew should have told people to stay home the 3 days of training. He did not do this. So, anyone that stayed home like myself looks bad. This is not how a union can operate.

People ask ‘what can be done?’ My opinion is to keep telling people what is going on and try to elect better leadership in the future.

But, do not blame James eterno at all.

Anon2323 said...

If my father cousin, uncle. etc was the principal that died I would be gathering a mob squad of family, friends, staff, and students to UFT offices to Mulgrew once the dust settles on being restricted and the social distancing. He needs to know that just like Dibloasio he has blood on his hands for even making teachers go to school those 3 days.

Also, be lawyering up to sue the city, no reason these PDs could not have been doing using google hangout from home.

James Eterno said...

Thanks Mike. We try our best.

waitingforsupport said...

@7:33 am: Blame yourself too. You have free will. Is a union bad or are the people running the union bad? How many teachers vote? Lethargy. Blaming students and parents. Now you're blaming this man who has a simple blog that affords a space for those who want to share their experiences and vent. Do something other than pointing your finger because that's not going to get you anywhere. James is retired. He gives his OPINION. You should turn your attention to someone who really harmed you. I am not leaving the union. I haven't voted for Mulgrew for years. Do something. The UFT and DOE just told every educator in NYC that you are not worthy. For the first time in a long time, they looked out for the students by closing the schools. This time, they screwed the teachers with a possible death sentence. I guess they like to mess with lives. Change.org. Start a petition. I will sign it and share it with many so they can sign too.

waitingforsupport said...

@8:18am: Money. It's always about money. Mulgrew and DOE protected the students this time. Maybe it was their guilt for the damage they caused all these years by giving out fake diplomas. They ruined student lives and now they've possibly ruined many educators' lives.

waitingforsupport said...

@8:56am: I agree with you. I am glad you bucked the tide and did not go in last week.

Anon2323 said...

James is right, anonymous comments, complaints even though many have very valid arguments does not mean crap unless we band together publicly . Would Mulgrew send his brother, father , son/daughter to school those 3 days last week?

Diblasio is such a joke he is worse than the sewer, he even made Cuomo look like a good governor for once and that is very difficult to do.


Say what you want about Trump, if he was the mayor NYC city there would have been shut down weeks ago just like he saved thousands of lives by closing the border to China and others in January, which of course liberal media and Schumer called racist, did not know common sense to save people was racist.

Anonymous said...

This blog told teachers not to go into what were dangerous buildings. The UFT let us go in because they want their precious dues. Who should be criticized? This is not hard. The UFT is at fault.

Anonymous said...

ydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-nyc-public-schools-open-de-blasio-april-20-20200326-p3bce4peovflbjr73bapzqu4yq-story.html

JR said...

James, I certianly don't blame you. I am one who dropped out and stopped paying dues as of last summer. I have repeatedly said that while I agree that it is better to have a union, we disagree on how to fix it. I have, in my opionion, done all I could do. All the phone calls, emails, conversations with both chapter leaders and unity hierarchy, nothing ever changed. Actually, I have been made a fool of. I felt there was no choice, and no other option. All I could do to show discontent was stop paying dues. I have written the list a million times, 1.3% raises over 11 years, retro held back with no interest for 11 years, no discipline code, fake grades, fake grad rates, fake suspension rates, absentee chapter leaders, abusive admin, abusive studnets, cell phones in buildings, open market fraud, no travel hardship transfers...I kept getting thrown to the wolves on this blog. I was tired of the uft telling me that I was correct, but they couldn't help. Then why are they there? What am I paying for? Yes, again, better than nothing, but not worth paying for. So you can add this mess to this list.

Anonymous said...

Trump is fucking this up all over the place.

waitingforsupport said...

@11:38 am: something is wrong with you if you take your marching orders from this blog, the uft, the sanitation man, your neighbor or anyone else without using common sense. Now I know common sense ain't common but surely if you are a teacher you have some sense of determining what's in your best interest. Look at March 16 posts. Better yet, think whatever you like. Some scales always need calibrating.

Anonymous said...

Mayor de Blasio said Thursday he’s hoping New York City public schools can reopen April 20 after they were closed to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Hizzoner has predicted the city will see the worst of the pandemic in April and even May, but he still wants school kids to return to class next month.

waitingforsupport said...

Excellent points Jr. I remain in the union. My parent was a strong advocate for unions when unions were really strong defenders for their members. She was a shop steward who stood up for herself and the members. I participated in marches, strikes, sit ins etc during Shanker, Charlie Hughes, Victor Gotbaum--DC37 years. My point is that it's engrained (right or wrong) in my belief system. I hope this wakes people up. Vote those people out and make the union what you want it to be. It will be painful but it can be done. Otherwise the madness will continue and we will all be affected--sooner or later. All lives matter!!!
#Firstthetcame

Anonymous said...

You don’t quit the Union.
You fight to have a better one.
You find a better person to run for Mulgrew’s job— someone people would vote for.

I think the Admin/Principals' Union will not want to walk back into schools so fast. They have already lost one of their own.



Anonymous said...

Three days ago de Blasio said schools were unlikely to open this year. Today he said he hoped to open April 20.

Anonymous said...

And what do we do about him reopening school in April?

James Eterno said...

I felt that way until Mulgrew allowed DOE to send teachers into what were dangerous school buildings. It is basically impossible to beat Unity in an election since there is no way to make the contacts needed to win. Mulgrew/Unity control flow of information. I am looking for something new and different now.

James Eterno said...

8:55, We refuse to walk into unsafe buildings.
We grow some spine.

Anonymous said...

What might work is if only one group ran against Unity and the other ones just backed that one and got the word out to vote for that one just to get rid of Unity and Mulgrew.

Anonymous said...

My principal told my CL that it's not likely we are going back. Students of mine whose parents are administrators are saying the same. I'm holding onto that for the sake of my remaining sanity.

waitingforsupport said...

Im curious, what are the contacts needed to win?

James Eterno said...

The retirees are spread out all over the country. There is no way to get to them. They vote 90% for Unity.

You need to reach people several times for them to know you, like you and trust you. Those are the three questions of politics that need to be answered yes to get votes.

My friend Sam Lazarus and I went all over Queens in 2016 to campaign. Several others helped and we got a bigger turnout in Queens High Schools than the other boroughs to lead a united opposition to win the 2016 election in the high schools. Since opposition split in 2019, the votes fell off a cliff. That is just high schools I am talking about. Need elementary, middle schools,non teachers also. There is no opposition outside of high schools and some in middle schools.

I have plenty of experience. I kind of know what it takes to win elections but am open to all suggestions.

Anonymous said...

The UFT has been silent about abuses and harassment against senior teachers. They are corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Mulgrew has been corrupt for a long time.

Anonymous said...

There needs to be a Post article exposing Mulgrew's sins.

Disgusted in Queens said...

Yes, Mulgrew is corrupt. He and his sister have gotten kickbacks from the city for years. You can google it. Yes, he doesn't protect senior members, ATR's etc.

However, he failed to PROTECT EVERY MEMBER WHO WORKS IN A NYC PUBLIC SCHOOL.
TAYLOR LAW VS. LIFE OR DEATH!!!!!!! This is serious. MULGREW FAILED RANK AND FILE.

WE NEED NEW LEADERSHIP NOW.

waitingforsupport said...

Challenging task. Im not tech savvy but I do know there are so many social media platforms that could possibly alleviate the need to trek all over the city and country (initially). Maybe if there are some tech savvy educators on this site or maybe they have children/grandchildren who are willing to help you get into the homes of all members without actually going to their homes. Even placing ads in local newspapers (wherever there is a chapter). Idk.